The temperature was about 105 degrees on that day in 1915 when Jack Johnson fought Jess Willard—unless it was closer to 70.
His 1988 battle with Tony Tubbs in Tokyo would be the last time that the world saw Tyson so serene, or at least stable. Storms were breaking around him.
The first black man to win the heavyweight title, Johnson was breaking a color line first drawn by John L. Sullivan.
The Boxing Kings is my attempt to encapsulate a long-running interest in the heavyweight champions into one narrative that includes them all.
Had Sullivan and Corbett lived to see their lives portrayed on film, it would no doubt have been another source of discord that here, too, Corbett had the upper hand.
In the end, how you react to Cinderella Man probably tracks how you feel about traditionally minded movies—and perhaps traditional values, to boot.
Part of the intrigue for the reader is trying to parse when he is in earnest, when he is knowingly deceiving us, and when he is perhaps deceiving himself.
Louis had a wry sense of humor and a gift for getting to the nub of a matter without the language clutter that often afflicts better-educated speakers
Jack Dempsey vs. Georges Carpentier marked the arrival of boxing (and American sports) as commercial and cultural juggernaut.
In the 20 years since, it has become commonplace to blame the ear-biting incident for the decline of boxing.
Unlike most of the heavyweight champions before him who had gone seeking their lost titles, Patterson was young—just 25—with plenty of fight left in him, and he determinedly analyzed the first fight and his mistakes.
From the introduction to George Foreman's 1995 autobiography, By George," if you find yourself guessing or wondering about one person or another’s color, please ask yourself why you need to know."
For all their punching, blocking, and feinting, the heavyweight champions also did a fair amount of singing...
The second fight between Sonny Liston and Muhammad Ali, on May 25, 1965, was controversial even before it took place.
This was the first time I got to see an Ali fight on television, live...It’s hard to describe how big Ali was by this time to people who didn’t grow up then...
Few champions had ever gained more praise in losing their title than did Jersey Joe Walcott when he was defeated by Rocky Marciano in 1952; unfortunately, the rematch in 1953 turned out to be a bitter disappointment.
On this day in 1900, on Coney Island, heavyweight champion James J. Jeffries knocked out former champion James J. Corbett in the 23rd round of a fight scheduled for 25 rounds. The bout is famous for the brilliant performance of the 34-year-old Corbett...
Joe Frazier was a no-nonsense man, in the ring and out. There was never any pretense about him. A small taste of those qualities came through in 2004, when he sat down with Esquire...